Thursday, November 12, 2009

For the birds

Good news yesterday (unless you walk the docks frequently): The brown pelican is coming off the endangered species list. Thank you, Rachel Carson!

Teddy Roosevelt set up the first national wildlife refuge at Florida's Pelican Island to protect the species. We must have seen 100 pelicans plunge headfirst into the waterways last Monday on our long haul down the ICW. We see them now on the Chesapeake too as they move farther north. Global warming?

DDT had reduced their numbers, along with that of eagles. Overhunting was a serious threat to them and egrets too during the early 1900s. Hats with egret feathers made quit a fashion statement then!

After DDT was banned in 1972, pelicans and eagles had a fightin' chance. But I've watched the endless washing down of docks every day at this marina--as we wait for the winds from Ida to lessen. It's a losing battle to deal with pelican, heron, and egret "droppings" on the docks.

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